Friday, February 24, 2012

Montessori Views on Infant and Toddler Behavior: A Parent and Caregiver's Role

NAMC montessori views on infant toddler behavior child and montessori parent with flowerTimes have changed, and science has made great progress, and so has our work; but our [Montessori] principles have only been confirmed, and along with them our conviction that mankind can hope for a solution to its problems, among which most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by turning its attention and energies to the discovery of the child and to the great potentialities of the human personality in the course of its formation. ~ Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

Over time, we have received a few inquiries about managing toddler behavior. What we find most alarming in the nature of some inquiries is that what may be very natural behavior at this age is, at times, considered problematic. It seems that these inquiries focus on discipline and control of the child, when in fact it may be more appropriate to return to the principles of Montessori. This brings our attention to the very special role that parents, educators and caregivers have in the lives of very young children.

Montessori Views on Infant and Toddler Behaviour: A Parent and Caregiver's Role

The Montessori Infant/Toddler (birth to 3 years) environment is unique by virtue of its inhabitants. Children from birth to three years are undergoing incredible spiritual, intellectual and physical growth, and no two children develop in exactly the same manner and on exactly the same schedule. Maria Montessori revered the human spirit and viewed education as integral to the proper development of the human personality and all of its amazing potential. The preparation of the Montessori adult and environment is a constant theme in the Montessori method, along with emphasis on the Montessori community, which includes parents, educators and caregivers – all in the service of the child.

With this in mind, we encourage Montessori centers to include material and tools for Montessori educators and parents, directing them toward action that best serves the child and renewing their commitment to employing Montessori principles every day, at home and in the Montessori environment outside the home. These can include effective communications for parents and teachers such as information handouts, newsletters, parent handbooks, recommended reading lists, and a resource library that teachers and parents have access to. This previous NAMC blog provides some material suggestions for a Montessori resource center: Guide to Creating a Montessori Parent and Faculty Resource Center.

Additionally, the NAMC Infant/Toddler (birth to 3 years) teaching manuals are designed for Montessori parents and educators. They provide background information on the philosophy, theory and method, and activities that can be implemented at home and in the formal Montessori Infant/Toddler environment outside the home.

Montessori educators and parents also require effective ways to communicate with one another for the benefit of the child. In addition to previous NAMC blogs (some provided below), look for future articles that provide practical ideas and action for Montessori Infant/Toddler parents and educators.

Resources
Also, please search our Montessori at Home articles for further information.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, February 24, 2012.

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